Aston Martin has been busy lately, showing off its new 2012 Virage and reminding us about the impending return of the Lagonda line at the Geneva Motor Show. Now, the company has scooted to another gathering in another Swiss city: the annual watch and jewelry show known as BaselWorld. There Aston Martin is showing off a new concept smartphone called the CPT002 (catchy name) it's developed in conjunction with Canadian luxury phone manufacturer, Mobiado.
The good news is that the CPT002 is stunning to behold -- far more so than Aston's Lagonda concept SUV that debuted in 2009. The phone is made of a solid sapphire crystal touch screen, with sleek platinum casings on the long sides. The transparency and unfinished metal give the CPT002 a sci-fi, futuristic quality -- like Logan's Run, but with higher production values.
The bad news is that the technology needed to make the phone work doesn't exist yet. The CPT002 has no room for a standard SIM card, nor for the chipset necessary to run Android (the phone's OS of choice) -- much less a battery. And unless the manufacturers include a plug-in slot, allowing the phone to interface with a laptop via cable, we have to assume that the device will rely on wifi and/or the dreaded Bluetooth, requiring more battery heft than usual.
The worst news, however, is that like many luxury items, the phone doesn't really do anything better than today's crop of smartphones for plebes. In the press release below, Aston Martin and Mobiado talk up the phone's social networking capabilities, but broadcasting your location via FourSquare and sending automatic tweets isn't what we'd call groundbreaking.
Weirder still, the makers claim that in the event of an accident, the car's airbags and seatbelts will respond to accelerometer readings from the phone, which they assume will reside in the driver's pocket -- despite the fact that, if drivers are using social media and other phone functions like music playback, the last place that phone's likely to be is in someone's pocket.
Compare the CPT002 to the similarly transparent concept phones described by Corning in its "Day Made of Glass" video below. Given the two, we think it's pretty clear what "groundbreaking" looks like.
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MOBIADO CPT002 ASTON MARTIN CONCEPT PHONE: DESIGN IN MOBILITY
Basel, Switzerland – March 24th, 2011: The CPT002 exemplifies what a concept phone can be, combining existing technology and software with state-of-the-art advances in electronics to create a realistic vision of luxury mobile phones. The CTP002 will present this futuristic image at BaselWorld, the world watch and jewelry show in Switzerland (Hall 2.1, Booth A22).
The CPT002 is the key to your Aston Martin vehicle, automatically unlocking the doors as you approach, however this is just the beginning as the phone also connects directly to the car display while remaining in your pocket. The CPT002 software combines with the vehicle GPS providing a new level of social network experience:
* FourSquare will show your current location as well as the location of your friends and nearby venues all integrated on a GPS map of the Aston Martin car display, to help you plan your night and organize parking locations.
* Cameras integrated into the vehicle can be set to periodically update FaceBook and Twitter with pictures, video, and information of passing cities/landmarks during road trips, or can update your social sites in real time with your progress during race track days.
* At the time of an accident, the vehicle Airbag will receive accelerometer information from the CPT002 in the driver’s pocket. These readings will give the car information of the driver’s acceleration movement from within the car seat, allowing for more responsive control over safety deployments such as airbag sequence, timing, and seatbelt stiffening.
Mobiado is consistently guided by a philosophy of doing things differently, and this principle has now given rise to the CPT002 Aston Martin Concept Phone. Staying on the cutting edge of design required the freedom to push the limits of what a luxury phone can be. The heart of the CPT002 is the solid sapphire crystal, see-through capacitive touch screen. The sides of the CPT are crafted from platinum; they incorporate the battery, electronics, and SIM card allowing for the screen of the phone to be transparent giving the phone a simple modern look while maintaining a luxurious appearance.
The purpose of a concept is to push the boundaries of invention, allowing concept ideas to be identified for future production designs. Mobiado’s passion for the avant-garde is an essential element of its DNA and history, and the driving force of its R&D strategy.
[Mobiado via GSMArena]